The co-founder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, says that the collaborative encyclopedic platform has become nothing more than “leftist propaganda” for the most part.
Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia with Jimmy Wales in 2001, says that the publications slide into radical leftism has long since abandoned its impartiality to become an amplifier for mainstream news narratives.
Speaking to the Epoch Times, Sanger said that Wikipedia began with good intentions, but has now used to vilify anyone who challenges the mainstream narrative.
“Wikipedia made a real effort at neutrality for, I would say, its first five years or so,” speculated Sanger, adding “And then … it began a long, slow slide into what I would call leftist propaganda.”
Wikipedia depends on the contributions of around 125,000 active volunteers, who pool their efforts to shape and curate much of the encyclopedia’s content. The site also depends on more than 1,000 administrators who have the ability to moderate and direct the actions of volunteers.
Sanger said that in the past five years or so, individuals who identify as conservative or “even contrarian” have been increasingly finding themselves at odds with public descriptions of their accomplishments and their views. He said that Wikipedia “grossly misrepresents their achievements, often just leaves out important bits of their work, and misrepresents their motives.”
Instead of depicting them fairly, Wikipedia “casts them as conspiracy theorists, are far-right or whatever, when they and their friends and people who know them well would never describe them in that way,” Sanger explained.
Sanger said that the leftward shift, while gradual, has accelerated more recently with the removal of “almost all conservative news sources as sources for their articles.”
“And so as the news media has shifted, and as the establishment, frankly, has shifted more to the left or to the left, the content of Wikipedia has followed suit,” he said, citing Fox News’ political reporting, the New York Post and the Daily Mail as publications banned from being used as credible sources.
Sanger has a solution to the problem, and is now developing a new decentralized network, which he describes as a “superset of all encyclopedias.”
“We’re going to be putting all of the encyclopedic content and the world in a single network. That’s an extremely compelling vision,” he told Epoch Times.
Sanger previously slammed Wikipedia as a “huge moral hazard” that is becoming a “monocultural establishment organ of propaganda.”
Speaking to OpIndia last November, Sanger said that Wikipedia is among one of the most highly trafficked websites run by anonymous people with no accountability who push partisan politics. He said that the anonymity the platform provides enables governments, organizations, and criminal enterprises to push their agenda onto the broader public.